Open Gently

Musings on the introspective life.

Be the One You Want

Money and looks still count too much. But go for a miracle.

My last post was about competing in the workplace.

Last night, I had dinner with my friend, S, and we talked about the dating marketplace.

S, an attractive man in his 60s, grew up poor. In the middle of his life, he made six figures. He felt rich. He wore expensive suits. And he noticed that when he entered a room in an expensive suit, every woman wanted to talk to him.

"Your access to women goes way up when you have money," he said, his eyes lit up. Years ago, he gave up the well-paying job and now earns just enough as a musician. "But I still have the suit," he says, with a rueful smile.

We also spoke about a friend who lives with a wealthy man. Our friend is remarkable. She is standup-comedy funny, Wall Street smart, with the empathy and listening skills to rival a $300 an hour New York City psychotherapist. If you put a dollar value on her traits, she deserves to be expensive, and her partner recognizes that value. He lavishes both love and money on her.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

She does not look like Halle Berry. She is the happy girl next door, with straight hair, flat shoes and no makeup.

When I ask how she met her partner, she says, "It's a miracle."

The truth is that he saw her perform improvisational comedy and was charmed.

I myself have spent hours of my life perusing online dating sites and studying the statistics. All your worst fears are true. Young conventionally beautiful women get way more overtures--they'll be overwhelmed by mail including one-line messages from men who aren't in their ballpark. Men who make more money (or say they do) get more interest.

I try to "be the one I'd want to date."  My questions: Can I give and receive love? Am I fun? Am I good to my parents and childhood friends? Do I have friends? Am I someone I'd want to spend time with? Do I show up on time? Can I pay my bill? 

Temma

Temma Ehrenfeld is a New York-based science writer, and former assistant editor at Newsweek.

more...

Subscribe to Open Gently

Current Issue

Love & Lust

Who says marriage is where desire goes to die?